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Old 04-14-2009, 12:02 PM   #1
Graeme
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Default Adding cocoa nibs to secondary...

I have a stout fermenting at the moment, I'm planning on adding cocoa nibs to secondary as I heard they are really great. I read somewhere that you should soak the nibs in vodka over night (just enough to cover them) for both sterilization reasons and also to bring out the full flavor and aroma. Has anyone ever used the above method, and did you use a grain bag or just use them loose? Just a bit worried it will get messy at bottling. any advice would be great. cheers

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Old 04-15-2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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Believe it or not, the nibs will pretty much sink to the bottom and create a slightly sludge-like substance after a few weeks.

I recently used about 6 oz and threw them directly into the 3-gallon secondary of an imperial stout and left them to sit for a good 4 weeks. The flavor was reminiscent of cocoa liquer, and was subtle.

I figured in a RIS with an abv of around 9% that I really wouldn't have to 'sterilize' the nibs in a boil etc., besides I put them directly from sealed bag to carboy, they sank to the bottom and bottling was normal.

I think next time I would use a rolling pin to crush them in a plastic bag first...and then add to secondary. In effect it would increase total surface area therefore improving extraction of aroma etc.

In the last competiton it scored a 33 in the Specialty category, with the most common feedback being that the cocoa nibs were subtle and they wanted to see them featured more. So I think next time I would lower the abv to around 7%, increase the amount of nibs...perhaps double the amount, and add some to flameout as well.

Good luck with your nibs! Btw I used Dagoba.

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Old 04-15-2009, 03:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, that's really helpful! Mine is going to be around the 5.5% mark so hoping to get a nice chocolate flavor and aroma. I'm thought they would break up and sink to the bottom, well that's what I was hoping and I'm glad of that. I've heard really positive things about them so looking forward to see what they can add. Thanks again!

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Old 07-01-2009, 04:38 AM   #4
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I have had 6oz of nibs in a coconut chocolate porter for 2 weeks now. It's 7.5%. Very little cocoa flavor, so I threw in 4oz more today. Hopefully that should be enough, I plan on bottling Friday.

I got the nibs at a hippie store on Maui from a large dispenser. So to sanitize I soaked in 170 degree water for 30 mins. I think it took out some of the flavor, but hopefully killed all the bugs.

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Old 07-01-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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I didn't bother with sanatizing mine as there is very little chance of them harbouring any nasties. But no harm either way. I heard a good method is to soak the nibs in vodka over night in a sealed jar. Just enough vodka to cover them, then add to secondary, seemingly the vodka will both sanitize and bring out a nice flavour. I used around 6oz of nibs in my last stout which I have to say wasn't enough. It was a nice brew but the chocolate taste and aroma were quite subtle, I bottled my second stout today and I added around the same as you did at secondary. Had a quick taste at bottling and it was way more chocolatey.

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Old 07-01-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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I used 4 oz of nibs last year in an Imperial Stout. Soaking is probably not a good idea.

What I did with mine was break them up a bit in a food processor to expose the insides and then roast in a 350 degree oven for a half hour or so.

Awesome chocholate flavor.

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Old 07-01-2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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That sounds like a great method McKBrew, must keep that in mind next time I'm doing a chocolate stout. Right now though it's summer, which means IPA, IPA, IPA :-)

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Old 07-01-2009, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
I used 4 oz of nibs last year in an Imperial Stout. Soaking is probably not a good idea.

What I did with mine was break them up a bit in a food processor to expose the insides and then roast in a 350 degree oven for a half hour or so.

Awesome chocholate flavor.
Nibs should already be roasted.

from wikipedia
Quote:
To make 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of chocolate, about 300 to 600 beans are processed, depending on the desired cocoa content. In a factory, the beans are roasted. Next they are cracked and then de-shelled by a "winnower". The resulting pieces of beans are called nibs, and are ground, using various methods, into a thick creamy paste, known as chocolate liquor or cocoa paste.
Not saying your method didn't work. I think it MIGHT have been redundant to roast them. I think there is a general misunderstanding about what nibs actually are.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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I went with the roasting more to sterilize than anything. I may have been totaly redundant.

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Old 07-01-2009, 11:31 PM   #10
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The nibs are more for aroma than flavor, though you do get some flavor. No need to soak them in vodka or anything, just put them in a hop bag and drop them in your keg for a few months.

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